Pedrosa takes magnificent seventh victory of the season after starting from pitlane
There was plenty of excitement at the Valencia Grand Prix, where Dani Pedrosa managed his seventh victory of the season. In a clever maneouver right after the sighting lap, the Repsol rider entered pitlane just moments before the final race of the year, where he changed his bike to use the second machine —set up for dry conditions. The Spaniard moved up 15 positions in the race and finally claimed a glorious victory on the day of Casey Stoner’s final race before retirement.
After Moto3 and Moto2 races contested with puddles on the asphalt, the premier class race would start with a dry track on virtually the entire surface. Some riders opted for slick tyres, whilst others went with wets, including Dani Pedrosa and Casey Stoner.
However, on the parade lap, Pedrosa and three riders —Hayden, Crutchlow and Bautista— chose to vary the plan after seeing that the track was drying faster than expected, and pitted. The Repsol rider started the race from pitlane. Saving a wobble from his rear tyre exiting pitlane, he rejoined the rest of the pack and started a spectacular comeback that led him to overtaking 15 rivals on the first seven laps.
Jorge Lorenzo led the race and Pedrosa slotted into second, three seconds behind the Yamaha rider. Pedrosa recovered ground and reached his countryman, before losing touch again after a mistake. On lap 13, the Repsol rider found himself in the lead of the race, out on his own after Lorenzo crashed out overtaking a backmarker. Pedrosa crossed the line 37 seconds in front of Katsuyuki Nakasuga, a replacement for Ben Spies.
With this win, Pedrosa became the MotoGP rider with the most victories this season, with a total of seven. Casey Stoner took his bike out set up for the wet, but after a few laps entered the pits to change to his second bike. With his Honda RC213V ready to roll in dry conditions, the Australian staged a great comeback that eventually led him to the third step of the podium, from which he departs the World Championship.
This race ends the 2012 season, although in less than two days the action resumes with the debut of Marc Márquez in the Repsol Honda Team, in the first test for the 2013 campaign.
Dani Pedrosa 1st – 48:23.819 “After Márquez’s race, I thought I should do something similar! But seriously, I’m really happy with this win, it was very difficult at the start to make the decision with tyres. I saw Jorge [Lorenzo] on slicks on the grid and I was pretty sure with my decision, but standing there the track was drying up very quickly and before the start I didn’t know if it would be better to forget about the pole and start from the pits or go out on wets and stop after 4 or 5 laps. In the last corner of the sighting lap, the instinct told me to get in immediately. I started from the pit lane and I managed to be fast from the beginning, I caught Jorge and then I made a mistake and lost three seconds again, but one lap later he also made a mistake and crashed out.
From this point another race began for me. It was tough to maintain concentration with such conditions and a big advantage, so I planned the second half of the race like a practice session, taking the corners, the lines, lap by lap. It’s a great end of the season and I’d like to thank all the Repsol Honda Team!”.
Source: Repsol Media Press Release